Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has made a late bid to sign Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches ahead of AC Milan.
Conte is interested in taking the £30 million Portuguese star on loan for the season and has made an enquiry during Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Singapore.
Chelsea and Bayern faced each other in the International Champions Cup on Tuesday evening and it understood Conte spoke with Carlo Ancelotti, the Bundesliga champions’ manager, after the game to discuss a potential deal.
Bayern are prepared to allow Sanches, 19, out on loan for the season after a disappointing debut campaign and have also had interest from AC Milan for the midfielder.
But Conte is determined to strengthen his squad and has made a move to try and steal Sanches from under Milan’s noses.
Sanches was a high-profile capture for Bayern in May last year, joining from Benfica in a deal that could become £75m after instalments. There was also interest from Manchester United.
Conte has spent around £130m already this summer, smashing the club’s transfer record to sign Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, but wants at least three more signings.
Ahead of their final tour game against Inter Milan on Saturday, Conte said: “About the transfer window, my club knows very well my idea, which positions we need to strengthen and if this is possible it is okay, if not we continue this way.”
Conte has sanctioned the sales of last season’s leading scorer, Diego Costa, and midfielder Nemanja Matic but is adamant that Eden Hazard will not be leaving.
Reports in Spain have linked Barcelona with a possible move for the Belgium international but Conte is planning for the season ahead with him in his squad.
“In the past I read a lot of stories about Hazard with Real Madrid. And now Barcelona. But this is the transfer market, we must understand this,” he said.
“Will he be here next season? Yes. He is very happy to stay with us and to play for Chelsea.